Drumbeat: June 11, 2010

John Michael Greer: Waiting for the Millennium

I think most people know in theory about the destination of the road paved with good intentions, but revitalization movements that go awry have a bad habit of putting that theory into practice. Next week, I’ll explore those uncomfortable possibilities in more detail, and in the process, show how the magical thinking that underlies revitalization movements could be put to use in much more constructive ways.

For the moment, though, I want to pass on the counterspell against incantatory thinking that I mentioned at the conclusion of last week’s post. Like the magic spells in fairy tales, it comes with a taboo that limits what you can do with it. The taboo is this: you can use it to guard yourself from incantations, if you think about it and understand it, and you can pass it on to someone else who’s ready to receive and understand it. If you give it to someone who’s not willing to accept it, though, it will cause exactly the flight into incantation and fantasy it’s meant to prevent. Here it is:

Boycott Big Oil? Prepare to give up your lifestyle

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Has the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico got you so mad you're ready to quit Big Oil?

Ready to park the car and take up bike-riding or walking? Well, your bike and your sneakers have petroleum products in them. And sure, you can curb energy use by shutting off the AC, but the electric fans you switch to have plastic from oil and gas in them. And the insulation to keep your home cool, also started as oil and gas. Without all that, you'll sweat and it'll be all too noticeable because deodorant comes from oil and gas too.

Nukes and Expensive Oil

“I’ve read Internet threads where people want to use a nuclear weapon to close the oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Even Matt Simmons, who’s a hero to me because of his Peak Oil work, says we might need to use a nuclear weapon to close the well. Can you discuss that?”

The Misdirected BP Boycott

In this week’s “Your Money” column, I spot an oddity in the conversation about how we all ought to react to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: Greenpeace doesn’t think you should boycott BP.

BP plans to suspend shareholder dividend

British energy giant BP plans to suspend its second-quarter dividend as it faces growing public anger over its handling of massive oil spill in the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to published reports.

Mexico fears BP spill to hit shores by year-end

Mexico expects oil from BP Plc's damaged Gulf of Mexico well to reach its shores by December, and is considering how to sue the company for any environmental damage, Mexico's environment minister told Reuters.

Additional BP Tankers Aren't Expected Until July

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration's point man for the Gulf Coast oil spill on Friday said it will be at least July before BP PLC has the tankers in place to capture the latest estimates for crude flowing from the blown well.

Q+A-How would penalties apply to the Gulf oil spill

(Reuters) - With the U.S. government doubling its estimate of oil coming out of the broken well on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico, companies linked to the spill, including BP Plc, face an increasing liability and potential penalties. Following are some questions and answers for how it could play out.

FACTBOX-The Gulf BP spill: How much oil is it, anyway?

How much oil has spewed so far? On Day 53 of the worst U.S. oil spill in U.S. history, it's equivalent to:

● Just over 2.5 hours worth of U.S. oil consumption. The United States is the world's biggest oil user, and burns about 20 million barrels a day, or 833,000 barrels an hour. Every 21 days, the BP well spews one hour's worth of U.S consumption.

● Eight times as much oil as the amount spilled when the Exxon Valdez tanker plowed into a reef in Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989, spilling 257,000 barrels. BP's well spews the equivalent to one Exxon Valdez tanker every 6.4 days.

Mayor Defends BP’s Chief Executive

Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, may be one of the least popular people on the planet at the moment, but he seems to have a friend in City Hall.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Friday defended Mr. Hayward, saying that the public should not rush to fault BP executives for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Energy chief: Cap didn't make spill much worse

BP's moves to contain and capture more oil from a leaking undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico did not make the spill dramatically worse, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday.

Chu, speaking to Reuters in an interview, also expressed optimism that sufficient safety measures could be made to eventually lift a U.S. moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Oil-Rich Deep Waters Off Brazil Still Beckon

Despite the Gulf spill, Petrobras continues to drill offshore.

Brazil could take advantage of US Gulf rigs

Brazil could benefit from the BP Gulf of Mexico spill as a US moratorium on offshore drilling boosts available rigs for the country's deep-water oil exploration programme.

Analysis: Pre-Salt Could Brighten Offshore Brazil

Brazil could become one of the largest oil producers worldwide if its plans to develop large offshore, pre-salt oil deposits prove successful. However, meeting this challenge will require unlocking reserves from technically difficult deepwater fields with oil under layers of rock and salt thousands of feet below sea level. Potential regulatory changes could also impact the process of producing these reserves.

Waste More Want More

In the wake of the highly predictable, not-even-slightly-surprising BP Gulf disaster, we can ask the news media to dust off energy demand management and recycle root-and-branch energy savings from its present "don't talk about that one" status.

Is it black gold or fool's gold?

The Raukumara's potential is unknown - the Petrobras permit is for 12,333 sq km, or half the basin - but data gathered in 2005 indicates there are sediments and sands able to trap hydrocarbons in "commercial quantities". Pfahlert says the odds of a strike in New Zealand's "frontier country" are one in 20. The MED dreams of New Zealand becoming "a highly attractive global destination for petroleum exploration and production investment". It is a potential made possible by "peak oil".

Certainly as peak oil - the point at which oil production enters terminal decline - looms (some argue we have passed this point), it is becoming harder to locate fields in easy-to-extract locations. Instead, oil companies are exploring more dangerous regions, such as the Falkland Islands, the Arctic and the wild seas within New Zealand's EEZ.

"All the oil reserves we find now are in hard-to-extract places," says Dr Bob Lloyd, director of Otago University's Energy Studies Programme. "The sorts of problems that are happening in the Gulf of Mexico will happen more and more."

More Failure for Peak Oilers & Energy Dreamers

Once again, this review is a debunker of peak oil hysteria as well as energy dreamers who think renewables can replace non-renewables.

Despite the sharp decline in production and demand, the industry’s boom cycle investments in the search for more oil continue to pay off. Global oil reserves remained steady after a significant jump in 2008.


The industrial economy, that is. On the brink, yet again.

The real economy -- not the born-again exuberance in the world's stock markets -- is stalling as the effects of easy money wear off. Indeed, investor fund flows haven't been this bad since Lehmann Brothers collapsed in the autumn of 2008. The IMF says risks to the global economy are high, and policy makers are about out of bullets to ward off the demons.

David kicks Goliath's ass: how we can beat big oil

Goliath, in his latest incarnation as California utility leviathan Pacific Gas & Electric, took to the field armed with all the weapons 45 million dollars can buy against…a pair of tiny websites and a tall red-haired dude with a busted video camera. And got his ass handed to him.

The Hurricane Effect (Part 2)

As Herman Daly and others have proposed, growth is fuelled by our need to keep up with compound interest of big payments like mortgages. This makes us work harder and consume more just to keep pace with debt payments.

Venezuela praises decision in ExxonMobil case

Venezuela today praised the latest decision by an arbitration panel in a case over the 2007 expropriation of ExxonMobil assets by the government of President Hugo Chavez.

Should lawmakers free us from market forces by controlling gas prices?

Congress needs to act now, not to free us from market forces, but to let market forces control what the flow of oil is and not OPEC. We need gas to run our economy and as long as the gas prices are being controlled by monopolistic mid-east concerns, with the aid of our administration the market is not going to do much to influence the price of gas. Big Oil has been entrenched for years with the government and industry. There was a time when the oil companies competed for your dollar and prices were decided by market forces. It is not that way today.

Is energy security achievable in Bangladesh?

ACUTE shortage of electricity and natural gas has forced the government to resort to the establishment of rental power stations, bypassing official procurement procedures. For the moment the people are prepared to accept the government's compulsion to rent equipment and buy fuel at exorbitant prices, but they are aware that the crisis has arisen because of policy failures of past governments and the lack of readiness of the present one.

Chavez ends Venezuela's electricity rationing program

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has lifted nationwide electricity rationing, signaling the end of an energy crisis that had plunged the major oil-producing nation into deeper recession for months.

He said the start of the football World Cup was one reason for the suspension of rationing.

Living without carbon: How to make your home green

I’ve seen the future — and it’s in Birmingham. In the unassuming suburb of Balsall Heath, the architect John Christophers has revamped and extended a classic Victorian semi to create a 2,000sq ft, four-bedroom home for himself, his wife Jo Hindley and their five-year-old son Theo.

Christophers has also made sure that the house is entirely energy efficient: it generates its own power and is so well insulated that there is no heating system apart from a wood-burning stove that was used intermittently during the coldest days of last winter.

BP Oil-Spill to Prompt Global Standards for Offshore Production

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc’s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico will prompt crude-producing nations to adopt international standards amid “an increased concern about the planet,” Mexico’s environment minister said.

Global standards “must be a very important topic when nations issue permits for oil production,” Mexican Environment Minister Juan Elvira Quesada said yesterday in an interview in Mexico City. “It’s very important that we exchange and harmonize the safety standards.”

Professors see BP brand under stress from spill

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- BP's green and yellow brand marker may be in peril, along with the beleaguered oil giant's chief executive Tony Hayward, as the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico drags on, marketing and management professors speculated this week.

Big Oil races to drill deep in the Gulf of Mexico

BP dominates this rapidly expanding oil production region. Who else is in the high stakes game?

NOIA Member Cos Feel Drilling Moratorium Impacts

The decision to halt deep water exploration activity and the uncertain status of shallow water operations in the Gulf of Mexico is already having profound impacts on the offshore energy industry, and these impacts will only worsen the longer the pause continues. Since the Gulf region depends on the offshore industry for thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, the impacts of the "one size fits all" moratorium will add further job loss and economic woes to a region already suffering from these same hits to its seafood and tourism industries.

Schlumberger Notes Effects of MMS Moratorium

Schlumberger announced the effect on its US operations following the recently announced six-month Minerals Management Service (MMS) moratorium on certain drilling operations in the US Gulf of Mexico and on other matters relating to its North American operations.

BP's open wallet

BP has already spent more than $1 billion battling its oil spill. Here's a look at where the cash is going.

BP Grants Additional $75MM to Gulf States

BP announced it is providing the State of Florida with an additional $25 million grant to continue implementation of the State's Area Contingency Plan.

This $25 million grant is in addition to a previous $25 million block grant that BP announced on May 5 to help accelerate the implementation of the State's Area Contingency Plan, and a $25 million tourism grant announced on May 17.

Talk of Second Oil Spill in Gulf Grows Louder

Talk of a second potential oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico grew louder Tuesday, fueled by several reports that the Ocean Saratoga rig, operated by Diamond Offshore, is leaking into the Gulf.

The Press Register, an Alabama newspaper, reported that a crew boat was seen spraying dispersant on a slick trailing from the drilling rig, which is located about 12 miles off the tip of Louisiana in about 500 feet of water.

Shale Gas to the Rescue

The political world has not quite caught up with the industrial and financial worlds when it comes to the vast increase of energy supplies of gas. For years that commodity from which a growing portion of stationary power (heating and electrical) is generated has been influential in European development. Since the nineties the Russians have manipulated that lifeline, which provides Western Europe with 25% of its energy. Those days would appear to be over. The next forty years are projected to bring a massive increase in natural gas availability thanks to the commercially competitive development of shale gas.

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, has had to rethink its entire future operational development and export revenue plan. It is not alone among the major gas suppliers such as Qatar and Algeria. (Iran is second only to Qatar in proven gas reserves, but it is not one of the top suppliers.) The United States has returned as one of the world's major gas producers through the unlocking of the technological mysteries of shale rock gas exploitation.

Jeff Rubin wins National Business Book Award

Canadian economist Jeff Rubin has won the $20,000 National Business Book Award for Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization.

Energy Reality or Energy Deceit?

Last month, Congress announced it was preparing to increase the barrel tax on oil. Revenues would be used for future crises like the one in the Gulf.

In response to that announcement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed the idea, saying it was hastily put together. VP of the chamber's energy institute said that the tax could be passed on to consumers if the oil industry manages to raise gas prices in response to the tax increase.

Clearly we would expect the Chamber to be opposed to such a tax, so certainly this was not a surprising response... Although you'll be hard-pressed to ever hear the Chamber weigh in on all those oil subsidies that have done a tremendous job at keeping us hooked on artificially low gasoline prices.

Reading China's Mixed Signals

“After being self-sufficient in coal for years, China has begun to import coal. This year, it will import 150 metric tons, which is double last year’s total. It may seem a molehill compared with what it burns, but that molehill is about 60% of Australia’s coal exports. Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and growing.

“This means,” according to Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute, “if Chinese imports double again next year--not an unrealistic scenario--China will need to import more coal than Australia can currently provide. One more doubling of import demand and China will be wanting to import 600 million tons per year, about the total amount of coal exported by all exporting nations last year.” Of course, it’s not just coal that China needs. It needs oil, natural gas, uranium, you name it.

Of course, there are contrary signals too. China’s largest publicly traded steel maker has just cut prices for the first time in eight months. This is extraordinary when you consider that iron ore prices now sit 147% higher than during fiscal 2009.

Announcing My Next Point of Inquiry Guest: Bill McKibben

I’m excited to announce my Point of Inquiry guest, for the program airing on Friday, June 18: Bill McKibben. He is author of many great books including, most recently, Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet – which is prompting a ton of discussion right now about the new world we’re going to have to inhabit for the rest of our lives (and indeed, for many generations) because of anthropogenic climate change.

Although I’ve failed to do so for the last two shows, I’m announcing this interview in plenty of time to take questions for McKibben from POI listeners. I will be interviewing Bill on Monday afternoon, the 14th, so that leaves three full days for thinking about questions you might like to hear him address on the air.

Former Chief Scientist lends voice to "Peak Oil" warnings

After famously stating that the threat from climate change is graver than that posed by terrorism, former government chief scientist Sir David King has this week issued another stark warning, arguing that oil supplies could peak far sooner than anticipated by politicians and businesses.

Speaking this week in his role as director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) at the University of Oxford, King accused governments around the world of having their "heads in the sand" over the risks associated with their continued dependence on fossil fuels.

Barclays Says BP Spill Makes $100 Future Oil Cheap

(Bloomberg) -- Oil futures for delivery in 2018 at less than $100 are “undervalued” as BP Plc’s spill in the Gulf of Mexico will raise the costs of exploration and lead to drilling restrictions, Barclays Capital said.

“Oil will be slower onstream, more expensive to produce, it will be more politicized and there will be less of it,” Barclays analysts including Paul Horsnell said in a report today. “All of those are factors that make us look at the current back of the oil curve and see it as undervalued at current levels of a shade below $100.”

Crude Oil Falls After Report Shows Lower U.S. Retail Sales

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell after a report showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly dropped in May, raising doubts about a recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

Oil for July delivery declined as much as $1.38, or 1.8 percent, to $74.10 a barrel and was at $74.49 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 1:34 p.m. London time.

Low-Sulfur Fuel Oil Premium to Gain in Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Tougher environmental standards starting in Europe next month are boosting premiums for low- sulfur fuel oil and may increase demand for less-polluting grades of crude.

BP Chairman Svanberg to Meet With Obama on Oil Spill

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is being summoned to Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama as politicians step up pressure on the company to settle damage claims and suspend the dividend.

Cameron to Call Obama as Pressure Mounts to Defend BP on Spill

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will talk to President Barack Obama about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow after pressure mounted on the British leader to defend BP Plc against criticism in the U.S.

BP's Liability Could Already Be $80 Billion

Government scientists said BP's leaking well may have been gushing as much as 40,000 barrels of oil a day, which is double prior estimates.

If 40,000 barrels per day has been leaking from the well, then there could be nearly 2 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. This would put BP's estimated liability at $80 billion, based on an estimated from Goldman Sachs analysts that it will cost $40,000 per barrel for clean-up, litigation and other costs related to the spill.

The BP Share Price Plunge – What Took So Long?

British Petroleum (BP) shares plunged to a 14-year low this week on fears of political fallout.

With investors seemingly deciding to panic all at once, BP's U.S. exchange-traded ADR (the company also trades in London) tumbled 16% in one day on Wednesday. That fall cut the share price almost exactly in half, as measured from pre-oil spill highs just under $60 per share.

For us there is just one question: What took so long?

Analysts still feel BP can cover Gulf costs

Wall Street analysts continue to believe that BP can pay for its mess in the Gulf, although their confidence level has been dinged by the company's inability to stem the spill — and the political fallout.

Oil Spill May Cost $4.3 Billion in Gulf Shore Property Value

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc’s oil spill may drive down Gulf Coast property values by 10 percent for at least three years, according to a forecast by CoStar Group Inc.

Losses may total $4.3 billion along the 600-mile (966- kilometer) stretch from the Louisiana bayous to Clearwater, Florida, the property-information service estimates.

Rise in Offshore Spills Raises Wider Questions on Drilling

The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico has been portrayed as a one-of-a-kind disaster, a perfect storm of bad equipment, bad planning and bad luck.

But it’s far from the only spill that’s taken place this year – or even the only spill occurring in the Gulf right now.

Britain should step in on behalf of BP

If Barack Obama has one foot “on BP’s throat” over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the other appears to be wedged firmly in his mouth.

What has Gulf tragedy taught us? Sadly, very very little

Let’s try a little thought experiment.

Let’s imagine that it’s Jan. 21, 2009, President Barack Obama’s first full day in office. With the economy still collapsing around his ears and jobs disappearing by the hundreds of thousands, the president announces that he is unilaterally placing an immediate moratorium on the issuance of drilling permits in coastal areas, including the Gulf of Mexico.

The BP Oil Spill Re-Enacted By Cats in 1 Minute (video)

This should catch you up on everything that's happened with the BP oil spill so far.

Osaka Gas Eyes $1.3 Billion in Power, Pipeline Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Osaka Gas Co., Japan’s second- biggest natural gas supplier, aims to spend $1.3 billion buying power plants and pipelines by 2020 to expand overseas.

The utility targets 10 acquisitions valued at 120 billion yen, and will look for opportunities in Europe, North America and Australia, Kazuo Kakehashi, the head of the energy resources and international business, said in Tokyo yesterday.

Will New York Rebel Against Fracking?

A well blowout that shot gas and water polluted with drilling fluids as high as 75 feet into the air in Pennsylvania is a vivid reminder how a new generation of gas drilling is becoming more of a presence in the Northeast.

Discussion of whether the main result will be jobs and royalty payments or environmental degradation still remains surprisingly below the radar screen in New York State, aside from the upstate communities that will probably be affected. But the issues are already a huge fact of life just across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.

Dubai Mercantile Looks to Swaps to Break Dubai Price’s Hold

(Bloomberg) -- The Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the United Arab Emirates oil futures market, plans to introduce Oman crude-based swaps contracts to woo Asian refiners away from Dubai-linked derivatives sold in the over-the-counter market.

The exchange will offer both swaps and options this year once regulators approve them, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Leaver said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur. The new derivatives will help refiners manage their price risk based on Oman’s output of 850,000 barrels a day rather than Dubai’s 80,000 barrels a day, he said.

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century

Originally titled The Squeeze for the less literalist U.K. market, Oil would be a good book anyway. But the April 20 explosion and sinking of BP’s offshore rig Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent uncontrolled leakage of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico have made it an important book.

In the laconic manner of a medieval annalist, Oil covers the last 20 years of history for the oil industry’s super-majors, with some attention devoted to the trading game that has grown up around them in the era of complex financial instruments. (The merely large international oil companies and the national champions created by expropriation stand offstage in Bower’s drama, darting into the scene where appropriate.) Major themes include the race for unexploited fields in post-Communist Russia and the debate over peak oil. By a stroke of fate and geography, BP was a special focus for the Brit investigator, probably best known in Canada for his unapologetically vicious 2006 book about Conrad Black.

Behind Petroleum

With the release of Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century, investigative journalist Tom Bower gives us a glimpse of what the debacle must look like from the boardroom. As the London papers tell the story, Bower is famous in British circles for his “forensic eviscerations” of the rich, powerful, and shamelessly corrupt. But here, he digs in on the business itself—and casts doubt upon the notion that its fundamentals are likely to change any time soon. NEWSWEEK’s Katie Paul chatted with Bower about how the industry got itself into this mess, and where it might be headed next.

Emergency planning questions from readers answered

To date I have seen no official plans from any agency regarding what has been dubbed the “long emergency,” that is the effects of Peak Oil on our society. The UK, Australia and the USA all have task forces at the legislative and bureaucratic level but in Canada it has been left to grassroots movements like the Transition Towns and Relocalization Network to fill in the gaps. When will official plans by your agencies for the long emergency be published as we are well past the peak of conventional oil and the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf may place moratoriums on future deep water drilling, further exacerbating the price of oil and the overall costs of living for Canadians?

Collapse: News From the End of Society

Michael Ruppert is a name that you’re probably not familiar with. I confess that I had never heard of him before I got the chance to watch a film that documents his views on, what could generally be called, the inevitable result of humanity’s unsustainable lifestyle. The film is called Collapse and comes out on DVD, this Tuesday, June 15.

Byron King: Crisis Investing

Even if the government does see the asteroids coming, what will your government do for you? Will your favorite politician give up his room in the survival bunker? For you? Are you kidding? The bottom line is that every investor needs to prepare his or her own lifeboat.

Along those lines, the subscribers with whom I met have a stash of physical gold and silver. That’s just the beginning. They “get” Peak Oil and the decline of the dollar.

I won’t get into personal details, but there’s a reason that these particular subscribers live in a semirural area south of Pittsburgh, in the mountains, with spring water, fertile soil and plenty of time to practice their target shooting.

Prepare for 'no growth economy', economist warns

A major correction to world GDP is inevitable, the economist Hannes Kunz told attendees at an international forum in Colle di Val d'Elsa, Italy on Tuesday 8 June.

Kunz was among experts at Footprint Forum 2010, an international gathering of 200 scientists, economists, and business and government leaders to discuss the most urgent environmental challenges, and strategies to address them.

How the world manages the transition to a 'no-growth economy' will make the difference between whether it is a benign or a drastic correction, with per capita GDP stabilising at levels closer to those of 20 years ago, or over a hundred years ago he said.

Peak Oil and Personal Preparation

The oil in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush, some say even worse than before and it has been interesting to watch the notion of peak oil start to achieve more credibility in some of the discussions. To enter, in Jay Rosen's terms, the 'sphere of consensus'. Even the President has hinted at the peak oil challenge in some of his speeches (although I'm told he acknowledged it while campaigning, too). I've read a few books about peak oil - probably the most compelling to me so far was The Party's Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg. Apart from wringing my hands, wondering how to live without plastic ziploc bags, keeping a few 5-gallon bottles of water in my cellar, and staying in my relatively small house (instead of heating and cooling and paying for a McMansion), I haven't actually done a whole lot to prepare for transitioning to a post-oil society.

Stating the case for alternative energy

Over the next 20 to 25 years glasshouse nurseries have the opportunity to earn income from investing in a renewable source of power generation, such as a wind turbine. By next year, they could also get paid to switch their heating from a fossil fuel to a renewable source.

Japan, Jordan Plan Treaty to Permit MHI, Areva Nuclear Sales

(Bloomberg) -- Japan and Jordan will start talks for a nuclear treaty this month, paving the way for Areva SA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to sell reactors as the Middle Eastern country plans its first atomic power plant.

IFR FaD 5 – the Gen III and Gen IV nuclear power synergy – why we need both

So far in the IFR Facts and Discussion series, I’ve discussed Gen III and Gen IV fuel cycles and energy densities. In later IFR FaD posts, I aim to explore some possible scenarios for future deployment of the IFR and related technologies. But before I can do this, I need to explain (and justify!), some key underlying concepts — fissile inventory (what Alex Goodwin cleverly called the nuclear ‘spark plug’ in this post on the LFTR), breeding rates, and available fissile and fertile stockpiles. But before I even do that, I should give you the ‘vision thing’.

Negotiators debate new climate treaty in Bonn

BONN, Germany—Top negotiators at United Nations climate talks in Bonn have presented a new draft text to get closer to a possible deal to fight global warming.

U.S. Democrats Split in Senate Vote on Agency’s Carbon Rules

(Bloomberg) -- Senate Republicans failed to block the Obama administration from using existing law to regulate greenhouse gases, although they won enough votes to damage Democratic hopes of passing a bigger pollution-reduction plan this year.

Can whiter clouds reduce global warming?

Can whiter clouds slow global warming?

A grant from Bill Gates is helping researchers explore the possibility that making clouds whiter and more reflective by spraying them with a fine seawater mist could help block the sun's rays and send them back into space.

'The Flooded Earth': Peter Ward's vision of a world awash in the consequences of climate change

University of Washington professor Peter D. Ward's new book, "The Flooded Earth," presents a dystopian vision of humanity's fate in the event of unchecked global warming, including a submerged Space Needle and a Seattle spread across seven islands and a peninsula, surrounded by the sea.

I finished my review of Steven Gorelick's book on Oil depletion, "Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths". In contrast to the top DrumBeat link and the title of the book, this is a scientist who doesn't warn too starkly. Linked here:

I figured it timely to critique this book because it supports the idea that huge amounts of oil are yet to be found in the GOM. On page 128, Gorelick quotes Larry Cathles as saying that we may find as much as "1 trillion barrels of oil and gas in just a portion of the gulf oil sediments". The sad part of this is that Gorelick should know this stuff better as a professor in the Environmental Earth System Science department at Stanford University. My take is that he wants to be one of these fair-and-balanced reporters trying to support both sides of the story. Leave that to journalists; as a scientist he should take a stand and not be wishy-washy. The fact that he had the nerve to include the word "myths" in his subtitle when he actually doesn't clear up any of these issues makes me wonder why this book got published. As I have said before, quite a waste of paper.

Books get published for one and only one reason: The publisher thinks the book will be profitable. I have some experience with this matter, one book published and eight unpublished. To publish my one book I had to make a lot of changes to dumb the book down and make it look like bestselling texts in the same area (introduction to economics).

I think that observation is a good one, and it allows us to critically rip into the ideas presented in these mass-appeal kinds of books.

Just curious Don, did you include any math or any kind of behavioral models in your book?

I left out the math (except for some arithmetic) and did not include any behavioral models because they were not in the Intro to Econ bestselling texts. Behavioral models are one of my favorite areas and have been since 1965. Especially I like the Herbert Simon model of satisficing. No way could I get Simon's ideas into my text, because they are not mainstream.

Did you have any papers published?
If you didn't I understand because a research paper normally won't get accepted if it is just supporting other ideas. I suppose this is a gap in how new information gets propagated and why the mainstream stays the mainstream.

No, I have no published papers. To publish a paper in an academic journal you must first have a PhD in the field, and though I took all the graduate econ classes at the University of California, Berkeley, I never did get a PhD. But I did get a draft deferment until I was too old to be drafted into the Vietnam war, and that was what I mainly wanted from graduate school. I spent more time sailing than I did studying during the years 1963-70 and learned to be an excellent sailing instructor.

No, I have no published papers. To publish a paper in an academic journal you must first have a PhD in the field, and though I took all the graduate econ classes at the University of California, Berkeley, I never did get a PhD.

?? Are you referring to primarily economic journals?

I have a BS and have pubs, with and without coauthors, accepted and in the works or published years ago in Natural Resources Research, Geotimes, Mathematical Geosciences, a Canadian something or other, International Journal of Coal Geology, can't say I've ever even had a paper refused. Do economic based journals do something different than the geosciences?

Don, do you still have a copy of the "smart" version of the introduction to economics book? If so, I'll buy a copy from you.

No, all I had were handwritten notes (from my lectures). These are long gone. I'd love to do an expanded and updated version of the text, but there is no market for it. Too many of my ideas are nonmainstream--Herbert Simon, Herman Daly, Kenneth Boulding--none of them are in the bestselling texts.

Books get published for one and only one reason: The publisher thinks the book will be profitable.

Which is why: Thank God for blogs!

That's the attitude.

So consider that even if you submit new ideas to a journal or a book publisher, it may just sit there and no one would ever apply the analysis in any future topics. This makes it an utterly useless and ultimately futile exercise. I will risk putting the results out on a blog and take my chances. A blog easily has as much archival strength, much more rapid turnaround, the potential for critiquing, and has searchability. If you are working on a general topic like energy depletion, the general concepts would not apply to any specific academic discipline apart perhaps applied math, and I certainly won't consider publishing the results in that arena with out risking it disappear without a trace. Eventually good information may end up in a Wikipedia entry or something else that will eventually take its place.

Books get published for only one reason: The publisher thinks the book will be profitable.

A publishing company must make a profit to stay in business. The good ones use the profit to support less popular books that they believe in. The statement quoted is true enough, but not the whole story. More of the story now, probably. I retired nearly a decade ago.

I worked for a large US publisher owned by an International conglomerate. The conglomerate seemed to want products like canned beans, genre works that could be advertised and sold as commodities. Thrillers. Romances. Cookbooks. Kiddie series.

Within this system, heads of individual imprints sought and published works intended to further public information and activism. I retired just before the head of my imprint gave up in face of increasing pressure from the head office for more profit. Canned beans now seem the order of the day. I know one editor with her own imprint who is still pushing boundaries and seeking quality.

Some people in publishing still have stars in their eyes. They do, however, have to spin straw into gold for their keepers.

Textbooks are a separate field that I worked only at the edges of. Major texts are commodities, often assembled by teams and bylined by star scholars. The whole Texas adoption scandal has spotlighted the unsavory aspects of the textbook business. Surely, however, there are small publishers putting out texts they believe in for niche markets. I hope so, anyway.

Someone - I think it was Henry Jenkins, in his book Textual Poachers - pointed out that publishers don't want you to re-read books. They make more money if you buy a new book rather than re-read an old one. He argued they intentionally produce books you don't want to read again.

I'd like to offer a counterpoint, as a writer who's published 23 books and counting. Of course publishers need to make a profit -- that's how they stay in business -- and of course there are publishers for whom the profit is the only thing that matters. That's not a universal, though. There are quite a few small-to-middling publishing houses, in particular, that publish books they believe in, that don't dumb things down, and that are willing, and often eager, to see manuscripts with ideas that don't just rehash the conventional wisdom.

Their books don't sell millions of copies, but tens of thousands are by no means unusual. Most of the publishers I work with belong to that category, and I've had generally good experiences with them. Of course your mileage may vary, but don't tar the entire publishing world with a brush meant for a handful of big, corrupt corporate presses.

I should have made it clear that I was referring to the textbook industry. Specialty texts are now retailed for $200 and $300 now; they may get a print run of only 10,000 or so. For an introductory text at the college level, I know of no publisher who will put out a book unless they expect to sell at least 50,000 copies. The industry is overwhelmingly dominated by a few major firms. Their really successful books sell over a million copies each, e.g. the 1948 edition of Paul Samuelson's ECONOMICS, which is still in print with a junior author added in the umpteenth edition; at least it was still in print the last time I looked.

As Bismark said of the making of sausages and laws, textbook making is something that it is best the public not inquire into too closely.

A few years ago there were 126,000 books published in the USA. I would bet that the number of Million sellers were only a few % points of the total.

I've gone so far as to think about publishing my own stuff, but the cost was out of my range even for a small limited run. Blogs came out soon after I did the looking in on that bit of thinking.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.
Hugs from Arkansas.

My fiction and my non-fiction has been published. But not in a for profit form, that takes a bit more time and energy. And like you I say Thank God for blogs, and Tape recorders, and Pencils, and Pens. Laughs. I have been writing for most of my years, creating stories from my early teens until well a few days ago, when I wrote the first act of a new play.

I have a few editors that have experience in the field the play is related to, and I send them scenes and hopefully over time I'll get some good feedback, they all have real jobs, this is just a favor I am asking them to do for me.

Usually I just edit it myself and run it on my blog, but most of my stories never find their way to the blog, just rattle around in my head when I need something other than water harvesting to think about.

On that note, We got so much rain here that all my collection containers are full of water, most of them over flowing. A little under 300 gallons of rainwater stored. Along with a continious 5 gallons a day from the condensation drip off the AC.

Back to books.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future,
Hugs from Arkansas.

Found a copy of this book on a server. First thing that makes itself apparent is how dull it is. He throws in his beloved USGS at every turn; their bountiful discovery curve really hasn't panned out even with all the broiling junk they've uncovered in offshore Brazil. Rembrandt covered the USGS study briefly here: Peak Oil Debunked: 232. INTERPRETING THE USGS STUDY

I'm at the part where he covers industry reserves revisions downward; yawn. OPEC's revisions upward in the 80's scarcely warrant more than a sentence, when they are, you could say, the crux of the matter.

Quick capsule review: pass. Like Duncan Clarke Gorelick is quite the dull read, albeit sans Clarke's stiff pretensions. For a more engaging and detailed read from the corny perspective I favor Robin Mill's book, not that I agree with his outlook, all of these authors predicate their visions on a world full of happy smiling producing nations wholeheartedly embracing the free market hypothesis in the warmest of firm bear hugs, real sugar plum fairy Econ 101 stuff that just doesn't happen in the messy real world.

What you described is another good perspective to the book, one of lulling reassurance.

The only spark of insight I found was the section on how the automotive industry adjusted to the crisis in the 70's and 80's.

Gave that a once over, I get the feeling that as he was typing he suddenly realized that he was firming some of the peakist arguments, such as Hubbert correctly predicting that the world would peak in the mid 90s at 70s consumption levels, which were warded off by conservation measures. Oh wait, scratch that...! But then he implies that BRIC nations won't adopt the automobile due to their poverty, conveniently ignoring the fact that millions of them have recently anyway, or that per capita ownership isn't the issue owing to their massive populations compared to those of the OECD; then letting on that it won't be an issue anyway - because of our good friend technology! Right, the typical middle class Chinese can't afford a car, so now they'll go even further into hock buying a PHEV. Pretty thin gruel.

Still better than Clarke. I'm skimming over the rest of the chapter, where he puts forth the scenario of reducing US demand in transportation, a more plausible goal. Which isn't happening, exactly, US light distillate demand changed -0.5% for 2009, which he could've thrown in in time for the book's 2010 publication.

I just liked that section because the idea of perturbations to production levels resonated with me, and I can apply that reasoning to the oil shock model. People see those glitches in the production curves in the 70's and 80's and wonder how that happened, and I think it is explained fairly well by conservation-based oil consumption adjustments.

So I agree with you that he was struggling to disassociate what he was describing from the rest of his cornucopian tone.

I’d like to thank the staff and contributors of the Oil Drum and, through you, of other Peak Oil and related sites.

It’s two and a half years since a friend lent me David Strahan’s “Last Oil Shock”, and in a couple of months I will be moving from a city in the South of England to some countryside in the North.

It’s often said that Peak Oil is not a problem: problems have solutions. It is a predicament. Likewise, my change of lifestyle is not a solution, but a response.

When we (four adults and two children) move, we will be out of debt. We will be closer to our families. We will still have paid jobs, but will have a little land and time for food and animals. As I say, not a solution, just a response. And a chance to learn some skills with a longer shelf life than information technology.

Because, if this sucker goes down while I’m still around, I want to be able to look the children in the eye and say that I did something. However little, I did what I could.

So thank you Prof Goose, Nate, Gail, Leanan, Ilargi, Stoneleigh, the Archdruid… I will leave the list there, although I could go on. Your combined wisdom, knowledge, experience and, above all, civility has changed my understanding of the world, and will shortly change the way I live in it.

Thank you, my guides, my fellow travellers, for getting me this far.

For the most part we don't have problems anymore; they're now called 'issues'. So we will move from PO finally becoming an issue directly to predicament status without it ever becoming a problem. Nothing will be done because 'who knew?'. Calling something a problem implies that something other than blathering about it need be done. How demeaning.

We will still have paid jobs...

How did you manage this? Fortunate enough to telecommute?

Yes, I'm fortunate that my employer is happy for me to telecommute, with very occasional visits to the office. I'm not foolish enough to think we can suddenly become self-sufficient, but I'd rather not be 100% dependent on supermarkets either. I'm hoping we'll be able to find some kind of balance.


bravo! It takes courage to take action in the face of no agreement.

LTC, thank you! Hearing from people who are actually changing their lives in response to the predicament of industrial society -- and I've begun to hear from a fair number of them recently -- is one of the things that reminds me that there's a point to the weekly blog posts, the books, and all the other attempts to tell our society a message it desperately doesn't want to hear.

Most of this is behind a paywall...

A fundamental threat to oil

GLOBAL oil demand will peak within six years, says an influential energy analyst. Forecasts of relentless consumption growth in China are wrong, claims Peter Tertzakian, head of Arc Financial, an energy-focused private-equity firm and an authority on global energy markets. And oil's dominance of the transportation market will be eroded by the growth of alternative energy sources.

It is a combination that should shock companies and countries that assume GDP growth will always equate to rising oil demand.

Peter wrote "A thousand barrels a second". Good read.

He also wrote a more recent book, The End of Energy Obesity.

He sees the connection to the shift from coal to oil, but doesn't see that the shift was very rocky indeed. The end of the world's first attempt at globalization and two world wars were not just coincidental.

From your link:

Unlike the 1980s, when an oil-price-induced global recession flattened commodity markets for years, cheaper oil will not stimulate a rapid uptake in demand. Then, few alternatives existed. Now, says Tertzakian, they do. Expect "fourth generation" biofuels by 2015, he says: genetically modified green feedstock that can be grown and refined on site. Other disruptive technologies, including electric cars, are also just a few years away and many of them will grow even more rapidly in developing countries than in the West.

Now alternatives exist! We don't need to develop them, we already got them. And by 2015 we will have: "Genetically modified green feedstock that can be grown and refined on site!"

Started out to be such a great article... until it got downright silly.

Ron P.

Too bad. He should have spoken to David Fridley before writing the section on biofuels.

Norway released production numbers for April and preliminary numbers for May.

Norway Production figures April 2010

The liquid production in April was: 1 886 000 barrels of oil, 275 000 barrels of NGL and 81 000 barrels of condensate...

Preliminary production figures from May 2010 show an average daily production of about 1.850 million barrels of oil, 0.335 million barrels of NGL and Condensate and a total of 9.0 billion Sm3 net gas production.

Doing the math that works out to be 1,967,000 barrels per day of C+C for April or 16 kb/d less than March. They do not separate the condensate from the NGL for the preliminary numbers but it should work out to be about 1,926,000 barrels per day of C+C for May, 41 kb/d less than April and 57 kb/d less than their March figures.

They have a new Format beginning this month. They show a chart of projected numbers for the rest of the year. From the chart it looks like they are predicting an even worse summer maintenance season than last year but they are predicting a recovery in the fourth quarter.

Ron P.

Interesting to compare what the Oil Shock Model says about Norway.
I did this post in early 2006 and had data up to 2004:

Here is the new data point.

This was before I had a discovery model so I truncated new discoveries after 2004. New discoveries will prolong the tail more than I show.

The Dispersive Discovery model together with the Oil Shock model will tell you everything you want to know about oil depletion. It works much better than Hubbert Linearization because it actually has a physical basis.

Re: Ruppert and the release of Collapse.

Saw the movie. Interesting and provocative. Now Ruppert is starting a collapse club: Collapse Network. For $10 monthly subscription you get the monthly newsletter and a network of other collapsotarians.

I think that Ruppert is sold on the myth of imminent collapse. This fringe is what makes people look at Peak Oil theorists as just another whacky cult.

If you happen to see things differently you may not be welcome:


Zombie -- (Zom-bee): A moving but brain-dead and soul-dead creature in a human body who functions on the biological, moral, spiritual and intellectual precept that everything in existence is there for its consumption and destruction; without awareness or consciousness of the ramifications on any other life forms -- including other zombies.

Zombies can revert back to living status but this usually happens only when zombies are faced with imminent death. Collapsenet will always welcome former-zombies who have become human again. Current zombies are not welcome here.


Well, you may see me as part of an even wackier cult, but I think that the wonderfully named "collapsitarians" may be wildly optimistic.

There is a good possibility that this summer will see the release of massive quantities of methane from the seabed of the continental shelf north of Siberia where, by most estimates, some ten thousand gigatons of the powerful GHG (over 100x stronger than CO2 over decadal time intervals) are barely being held in place by a fast-melting layer of clathrates. For perspective, current annual emissions of CO2 are in the tens of gigatons range. Do the math. If it were all released, it would be as if a million gigatons of CO2 were emitted at once, about five orders of magnitude above current disastrous rates. Even a sudden release of one percent of this stuff would be, not a game changer but a game over. With the current Arctic sea ice coverage below anything seen before at this time of year and melting faster than any time, and with total ice volume down dropping off the charts, this could well be the summer for a globally fatal release.

Just sayin'.

Just because you haven't heard of something, doesn't mean it can't kill you.

That is not so good.
Do you have any links for further research?


Edit: cancel request. Found some links:


"Just because you haven't heard of something, doesn't mean it can't kill you."

Exactly right.

The same applies to things you have heard of but dismiss as so improbable as to not be worth consideration:

"THAT will never happen !" = = "I can't imagine how that could ever happen so it won't."

Samsam Bakhtiari:

“The fact of being in ‘Post-Peak’ will bring about explosive disruptions we know little about, and which are extremely difficult to foresee. And the shock waves from these explosions rippling throughout the financial and industrial infrastructure could have myriad unintended consequences for which we have no precedent and little experience.

“So the only Transition we can see rather clearly (or rather, we hope to be able to comprehend) is T1...

“But even during that rather benign T1, the unexpected might become the rule and the orderly ‘Pre-Peak’ rapidly give way to some chaotic ‘Post-Peak.’

If so, I hope you will not suddenly stop posting before telling us, and no, I am not kidding.

Even if the ice melt breaks a record, it is the water temperature at 40 meters and deeper that is the real driver for any methane release. Unlike the atmosphere, the timescale for surface heat mixing to deeper layers is very long for the oceans. In fact it is stream filaments of warmer water from outside the Arctic basin that have been the big factors in the last decade and not Arctic Ocean surface heating. This has been driving the sea ice melt and not anomalous atmospheric conditions (the MSM's ignorant harping on weather notwithstanding).

The few weeks of low sea ice cover will not be long enough for significant heating to occur that could trigger some massive clathrate release. From what I have seen it is not clear what the estimates for clathrate amounts in the East Siberian shelf are based on. Since this shelf is shallow and was exposed during the end of the last glaciation cycle (when it was very warm) it is doubtful that there is that much clathrate there. Relic permafrost is a different issue. The concern should be about land permafrost which has trapped teratons of carbon. It is not collapsing but is retreating quite rapidly and at an accelerating pace.

I think you think you know more than you actually do. For the last four years we've heard nothing but, "Methane from tundra? Please! Can't melt for another hundred years!" and, "Methane from sub-sea deposits? Can't happen for hundreds of years!"

Thus, your logic fails spectacularly. What is happening in the Arctic right now isn't even in the GCM's.


There is a good possibility that this summer will see the release of massive quantities of methane from the seabed of the continental shelf north of Siberia where, by most estimates, some ten thousand gigatons of the powerful GHG (over 100x stronger than CO2 over decadal time intervals) are barely being held in place by a fast-melting layer of clathrates.

You nailed it to the wall Dohboi! This is exactly my contention as well. I've been following GW science news and am certain that will be the game changer, or maybe even the game ender. There is always a weak link, and in this case it's the stability of the Siberian arctic methane caltrates that scientists reported last year are now starting to show signs of instability. From my understanding, a 1% release would double the amount of global warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution which would probably start runaway GW, and anymore is a fast game over.

Here's an odd twist to this notion. On the surface it may seem too wild to be possible, yet the History Channel had a special on prophecies of doom - I don't remember the name of the special, but down through antiquity there have been numerous visionaries that have predicted a catrastrophe to occur in the beginning of the new millenium, and some like the Mayans pinpointed it to Dec. 21st, 2012. There was a middle ages seer, a Hopie Indian in the 19th century, the I-Ching, the Mayan Calender, a woman seer from the renaissance, Nostradamus and most of these predicted a flaming red sky that would cause millions to weap in the final moments of their lives. Nostradamus produced simple symbolic painting on parchment that suggest nothing will survive.

Well, methane causes the sky to redden. If the Siberian caltrates become unstable and release their payload the skies will turn red and we will all be scorched to cinders. You'd have to have an underground bunker with enough food to last for years until the methane levels receded and plant life returned to normal to survive. That isn't going to account for many of us if that happens. Maybe a few thousand very prepared people.

Here's the kicker. The Mayan prophecy of 12/21/2012 just happens to be the date of the winter solstice. If all that methane released it would melt Greenland's ice in quick order and that fresh water melt would stop the conveyor that keeps the flow of the oceans warm water moving and that exact date would mark the beginning of a 100,000 year ice age. Not a piddly ice age of a couple thousand years, but the big Kahuna of ice ages that have occurred throughout Earth's history. The oceans would stagnate and carbon (co2) would be absorbed by algae, the algae would starve the ocean of oxygen, and then the algae would die from lack of oxygen and sink to the bottom in huge piles. In a 150 million years there could be another oil age. How much for the Camero?

I think Ruppert is nuts to expect people to pay $10/mo (or you can barter - ya, right). I think the movie has gone to his head. I've followed him since the early FTW days and he has had lots of interesting stuff. But at that price, for me, it's goodbye Mike. I bet lots of other people will say the same thing with the result that Mike will marginalize himself.


You'd be surprised how little that $10 goes.

I was so curious that I took the bait and there is almost nothing to DO there. There is an almost criminal lack of content.

There's no forum and no true social networking engine. All he's really done is moved his blog behind a paywall and added a map application for doomers.

His aggregated news is no better than The Oil Drum's Drumbeat. It's actually worse if you consider that he routinely links to fringe sources of dubious credibility (Russia Today, Iran, etc...).

I am not so beholden on the cult of personality that the promise of a livestream video of him every couple of days is worth $10.

Quite disappointed, really. You'd get more utility out of numerous other free sites.

I think you do not understand a few things about his website.

Firstly if you listened to his video when he spoke of the plans for the website you would have learned that it was brand new. It was put in place to sort of iron out the bugs and develop by experience and trial.

He main purpose for the site was to 'connect' folks who had skillsets that they could post and then others who lived nearby could take advantage of those skills.

A community sort of website that connects people in differing areas with their skills.

This is a good step forward to start to utilize the web for a internet based community networking common survival goals type of outlet.

Say I had a need for some plumbing and the plumber had a need for some vegetables. We knew approximately each others location. We set up an exchange with the Collapse website serving to bring this into focus.

A quite good idea in my mind and the early advent of the site allows you to be a member from the startup and thereby possibly provide feedback to FTW and Rawlings.

You simply do not get a free lunch no matter what the method. Its a community help each other methodology.

I find him to be way ahead of the game on this type of venue. I have only listened to a few of his talks but find he makes good sense.

Perhaps you are expecting to find a finished product for free and let everyone else do all the work!!! Doesn't happen you know.

Perhaps, but the usual way it works is for the site to prove itself by providing its service for free, then asking for payment. Either give a free trial period, so people can see what they're getting, or make it free at first, then charge when there's something worth charging for.

Especially for a site like you describe, where a critical mass of users is, well, critical.

$10 is not much. Mike is not the ordinary run of the mill type of guy.

Either you like what he says and read his books or you do not.

I suspect that the usual netwonk will bitch about it and wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting then likely whine some more.

The days are growing shorter and time is running out. You either 'get it' or you don't.

Mike Ruppert got it a looooonnnng time ago.

IME, it's not really the cost that matters, but the hassle of paying. That's been the big barrier to micropayments. People would be willing to pay a few cents to read an article. It's the inconvenience of paying that dissuades them.

It would be different if this was one of those investing sites. People like the feeling of exclusivity with those. But for the kind of thing you describe, you really need a lot of people. There's no way around it. If only a dozen people are paying for access, you can ask for a plumber until you're blue in the face, and there probably isn't one, let alone one near you.

Ok...I can see your point but here is how I would handle this.

Pay one fee of $20 and use the site for two months. A trial run.

If you find it worthy then pay for one year in advance. Not a big hassle.

This is exactly how I handle my own websites. One year at a time. I get an email from them when its ready to expire and in some cases unless I reply negative they will continue to bill my credit card.

I find it hard to believe that as vast and heavily used as the internet is that this is a big problem for users!!!

Given the amount of buying online and all those sites which charge.

To quibble over a survival site ? For $10/month? Less than a Real Deal Meal at Burger King!!!!

Ten dollars with todays prices is chickenfeed.

Of course you can opt out as desired and come back later or whatever.

Not that onerous IMO.

I find it hard to believe that as vast and heavily used as the internet is that this is a big problem for users!!!

It is, at least if the thing in question is a "pig in a poke." You can't see what you're getting, so you don't know if you want it or need it. (Paying for your websites is not the same thing. You know you want it, you would buy it somewhere else if not from your current registrar, you don't need to see before you buy.)

This is why "social networking" sites like Facebook are free. Even the ones that charge, like dating sites, usually offer free trials, or allow you to look for free (but not interact). You have to show people they need what you're offering to get them to go get their credit cards.

There's also the issue of trust. A lot of people will trust sites like Amazon with their payment information, but not smaller sites. Not necessarily because they think the site will rip them off, but because such sites often have less security than larger ones.

Internet community economics tends to follow different patterns. There's a difference between there not being an "actually free" lunch and the popular situation where the lunch whose cost is something you enjoy doing anyway (site design, moderating, back-end-coding, etc). In the cases where there are external "forced to be monetary costs" you get better responses if you charge people after they've invested time in doing something active for the site, even if it's just acting as a moderator. Unfortunately the common entrepreneur viewpoint is "I've got the big, detailed vision that will fit with what people want. I'll use monetary payments to the site to pay someone to make the vision happen and present it to the community." This generally doesn't work anywhere near as well because it both frontloads the request for money and diminishes the sense of involvement.

(Full disclosure: I haven't contributed financially to TOD's recent requests, essentially because I'm currently unemployed.)

I bought a 12 month membership for $100. I also sent him some money last fall when he was having trouble paying his rent. I think the guy is sincerely trying to help people save their own lives and I respect that. I also feel kind of sorry for him because I know he takes this all very personally.

I am willing to pay for good information, possibly life saving information. I also subscribe to urbansurvival.com and send money to The Automatic Earth for the same reason.

I agree SolarDude that Mike deserves respect, to a point. I went to his movie in San Francisco last year and he was speaking after the show. He was being compensated for promoting the film. I made a donation. I also bought his books and I used to subscribe to his Newsletter Beyond The Wilderness. He has done a lot to turn up the volume on where we're at. The $10.00 fee wasn't a lot but it turned me off particularly now when my money is especially tight.

Tony Robbins charges a one time fee of 1 million dollars to give his personal telephone number to wealthy clients and for that fee he agrees to answer the phone 24 hours a day for one year. Mike is kind of like the antidote to Tony Robbins which is why I like him. If I had the cash I would probably be willing to pay Mike to meet face to face for dinner.


Mike Ruppert's message: "Let the realization of the coming apocalypse free you from the burden of your personal optimism"

Personally I think Robbins is a horses ass. He stole everything he ever said (mostly from Napoleon Hill) and then passes it on like some sort of big secret. Ruppert OTOh believes that the truth will set you free.


I think that Ruppert is sold on the myth of imminent collapse. This fringe is what makes people look at Peak Oil theorists as just another whacky cult.

You can say that again. And again. And again.

More on disaster on GOM biology:


BP oil leak aftermath: Slow-motion tragedy unfolds for marine life

Since oil began lapping at the Louisiana coast, the government has set down 2.25m ft of containment boom and 2.55m ft of absorbent material. But local sports fishermen on Grand Isle complain response crews bungled the protection zone for Queen Bess because they only put a portion of the island behind the orange and yellow barrier boom. That turned the boom into traps which pushed even greater quantities of oil onshore. Steiner agrees: "I would say 70% or 80% of the booms are doing absolutely nothing at all."

The efforts on the beaches seem equally futile. By day workers in white protective suits march along the sands of the state park on the eastern end of Grand Isle, trying to suck up the oil. But as the tide goes out there is only more oil to be found, and dozens of dead hermit crab that have struggled to flee to shore.

Steiner says he has seen it all before, after the Exxon Valdez went aground in 1989, and then in other oil spills he has monitored around the world from Lebanon to Pakistan. There is, he says, a drearily familiar pattern. "Industry always habitually understate the size of a spill and impact as well as habitually overstate the effectiveness of the response."

In the case of the Exxon Valdez, he says, the environmental impacts persisted for months or years after the tanker went aground. That catastrophe, which saw 11m gallons of crude dumped into the pristine waters of Alaska, occurred within the space of six hours.

This spill is much worse. BP's well on the ocean floor has been spewing greater volumes of crude oil into the water for 53 days. Even by the administration's most optimistic forecasts, it will keep gushing until August, and the clean-up could last well into the autumn.

"This is just the start. It is going to keep coming in even if they shut the damn thing off today," says Steiner.

I watched several ABC world news tonight episodes in a row last night, and the sight and sounds of the Oil Spill are a bit overwhelming to say the least. That none in the Gov't or BP could acknowledge that something like this was even possible, let alone might happen here at home just leads one to think that we need better leaders. The red tape that people have to cut through to get anything done, besides just going and doing it themselves is also a bit unnerving.

Thinking about the other things that Peak Oil will mean in the years ahead. I can see vast head scratching going on it Washington as people die from a worse case collapse scenerio. I can write fiction where the Powers that Be are up to the minute and on the ball, but in reality that just does not seem to be the case.

The Bigger Gov't has gotten the less it can do. Adm. Thad Allen would love to see the red tape cut with a sharp knife, but even he can't see ways around it all, and They say he is the go to guy in charge, scary thoughts that brings.

There seems to be Millions of things we just don't know, and all of them are going to be settling around our ears for the foreseeable future in the Gulf.

Hugs to all those living in the mess.

Hi I am Charles, I use Oil, I am to blaim.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.

leads one to think that we need better leaders


They don't want those kinds of creepy thoughts creeping through your head.

That's why they are trying to constantly assure you that they are in numerical control of the situation.

When the Iceland volcano erupts, they are in control of the volcano gods because "they" are counting how much ash is spewing out.

When the underwater oil volcano erupts, they are in control of the oil gusher gods because "they" are counting how much oil is spewing out.


As long as we are counting, we are the 'Counts' in charge.

'Better than Growth' released by Australian Conservation Foundation
Arguing for something beyond economic growth

Australian Conservation Foundation has published an outstandingly well produced paper on how we can redesign our ways of living based on something other than economic growth and all its attendant troubles.

Japan leader warns of a possible Greece-like debt crisis

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's new prime minister warned Friday that his country could face a financial mess like that of Greece if it did not deal urgently with its swelling national debt.

Naoto Kan, speaking in his first address to Parliament after taking office Tuesday, said Japan, the world's second-largest economy, cannot continue to let government debt swell while state finances are under pressure from an aging and declining population.

It's the population connection I found interesting. People are at least a little smarter than yeast. They do choose to not have children if the socioeconomic conditions don't support it. Even if the government tries to encourage large families, it usually doesn't work. (Romania went as far as banning birth control and examining all women of childbearing age monthly to make sure they didn't have abortions.) Japan's population is shrinking, and they have the longest-lived people in the world; it's not Malthusian dieoff that's decreasing their population.

But of course, this is seen as a serious problem by the government. The infinite growth ponzi scheme requires ever more new "investors" coming in at the bottom of the pyramid.

In the old days in Japan the sons and grandsons supported the aged. This works when there are plenty of kids. I had four children to ensure a comfortable old age. I'm old now, and sure enough, all the kids help me out in one way and another--both financially and with housing, not to mention companionship and social support. Not having children is a big risk in case you get old and have nobody to rely upon except a national government.

In my parent's generation of my family, two kids was the norm. For my grandparents, 7 kids. My generation has managed one kid between 6 adults. I belatedly adopted 2 more as a precaution. My family has always delayed children until our late 30s plus. I am finding looking after the my parents (and my wife's parents ) hard work, they are old and frail, and my adopted children have behavioural issues related to their background. Fortunately, the UK welfare state, and a very generous pension provision, has helped my parents generation into ripe old age.

I do not expect any help by the time I am past work.

So how are you planning for retirement? Note that financial assets have been and will continue to take a beating. Also, who is going to drive you places when you become too old to drive?

I expect most of my income will come from rental property. I am fortunate that I live in a high tech university town with a 500 year pedigree, so I do not expect it to depopulate. My wife and I have 1 1/2 spare properties at present, expect this to rise to three as parents die.
The rental income will be enough to fund our current lifestyle, so in the future I expect at least a living income. As we become too old to do the work, my children can take a cut of the work/income as a condition of their inheritance. Of course, I expect future governments to tax the inheritance as well....

I have also selected a home on the edge of town which is within cycling distance of all amenities. Cycling is excellent exercise and I recently met a 90yo at a cycle rally. I cycle commute, and would shop by bike/trailer if I had time. I am learning some food growing, which will suppliment my supplies a little...

I do not know what the future holds. I could get squashed by a bus tomorrow. These are the best plans I have right now, the key is flexibility.

Good planning! I bike a lot too, but sometime around age 80 I'll have to go back to three wheels (electric assisted adult tricycle) from the two wheels that I've been using from age six.

My wife and I were only children, so we thought we wanted a large family. We had three and adopted two more. It seems to have worked -- the kids now in their 40s are close and look after one another. Oddly, only the adopted ones have reproduced -- three each so far.

But all that didn't make me heterosexual. When my wife and I separated, I had my long-deferred adolescence. I got together with a graduate student 27 years my junior. Now he looks after my medical appointments and prescriptions, not to mention the insurance billing. My kids are all friendly and supportive, but live far away. For old age support I'm happy with a young spouse.

There's a sucker born every min....errrrr make that 2 minutes.

With the regard to the article....
Peak Oil and Personal Preparation

Just returned from visiting a friend on the west coast of Vancouver Island. 40 years ago it took all day to get there and not only was camping on the beaches okay, dropoutskis actually lived on the beach in dugout shelters and walked around nude on warm days.

Today it takes 2.5 hours and you pass motor-homes that are still driving at 80km/hr. Sitting on my friends deck last night I realized that that the entire lifeblood of this still small town was oil. It is remote and artificially pumped up on tourist dollars. I don't think you could grow lettuce much less sustain a family on gardening crops. The fishing fleet is tied up and the catch has been declining for years. The tourist lodges are mostly empty, and the opulent glass and cedar behemoths are often underwater or mortgaged to the hilt. The 'Jack Nicholas' designed golf course is bankrupt, unfinished, and there are hundreds of unsold shot-rock lots awaiting buyers. I looked at the pristine quiet harbour and tried to imagine the devastation of the GOM. While still beautiful, it is plain to see that there is absolutely no way to make a living on this rocky point without oil. The Indian Reserve is still perched above the clam beds, but grubbing around for claims at low tide seems to be pretty grim prospects for the size of today's population.

After being away from TOD for a few days I sense an increased tone that the party is winding down and a decline seems to be speeding up. Maybe it is the BP share drop, or the new surge in the stock market, but the whole plate of contradictions sounds like an old western showing the milling and lowing cattle right before the thunderstorm hits and the stampede starts.

In the last week there are more and more posted articles on prepping and plans. It also seems like a natural thing to hear someone post a "thank-you....I just moved away and am beginning a new life."

I'll mail a cheque in today, (Don't like pay pal), and echo a thanks for the willingness of everyone who shares their ideas and knowledge.

What in the hell will the gulf coast folks do with $5,000.00? What if you just started a new business and didn't have 4 years of receipts? Isn't this high school graduation week? I think it is starting to sink in around the world....what are we all going to do?

Best of luck in making the right decisions........

In Italy the past few days, where I gave some talks on peak oil:



Even though my talk was pretty mild, a number of people told me they were shocked at the implications. This was at a conference about resource limitations, and surprisingly a lot of people didn't know about peak oil.

For the next few days, I am in Switzerland, staying with Hannes Kunnz (quoted in the 2nd link above).

According to Rapier, peak oil - when oil production rates begin an irreversible decline - will have a direct effect on global warming. "When there's a decline in oil production, the first thing we do is turn to coal plants and tar sands," he said. "We will demand that because we have built a society on cheap oil. But eventually fossil fuels will run out. That would solve our CO2 issue -- it would solve a lot of problems. But I don't like how Mother Nature solves these problems."

R^2,you have officially jumped the shark on CO2, IMO.

Yours is also Aleklett's position which why he's listed as a CC denier.

The idea is that CO2 causes warming, no more CO2 means no more warming, which is incorrect. Once the world starts warming it will continue to warm until we reach a higher thermal equilibrium. Since the ice caps are already are melting, it is reasonable to think that is will continue for several thousand years as world temperatures will be higher.

If the whole world increases 2 degrees C, a 2 degree C rise would give New York the climate of Washington DC, Texas and California the climate of Northern Mexico, etc.

It maybe that the rise will be concentrated at the poles and equator, that's for IPCC computers to figure.

Hare and Meinhausen

The zero emissions case is nonsense.
The feasible case is for drastic reductions.
The constant emissions case is for 2006 emissions of CO2 going forward(reality is they are increasing).

If conventional oil and gas runs out by 2050 per some Peak Oilers, there is still an even larger reserves of coal, double the size of conventional oil and gas, and unconventional oil to accelerate temperatures. And there is a top peak for the ceasing of 'aerosols' associated with fuel combustion.

With great CO2 control efforts, the most optimistic scenario is likely constant CO2 emissions going forward with a shift to coal with the temperature leveling off with a top due to reduced aerosols from coal particulates.

So I don't buy the idea that temperature rise is going away after 2050 or even 2100 when we supposedly run out of carbon to burn.
CO2 will remain an issue for thousands of years unless we can magically wash it out of the atmosphere.

R^2,you have officially jumped the shark on CO2, IMO.

Yours is also Aleklett's position which why he's listed as a CC denier.

I am not sure you know what "jumped the shark" means then.

My position is simply this: We will burn up all of our fossil fuels. I am convinced it will happen. Only when that happens does the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere start to flatten out.

That doesn't mean that I think this is just peachy, or that I am not concerned about it. I am just stating what I think will happen. And my point was that the earth can take care of itself, but the outcome won't be so nice for a lot of us living on the earth. So I am saying "the problem will be solved", but also that we don't want the problem to be solved in that way.

You are also not reading what I actually said. You are reading your own spin into it. I said "as we run out of oil we will probably turn to dirtier sources." I explained that this would exacerbate the CO2 issue. I said the only way I saw it flatting out would be for us to run out of fossil fuels to burn. You have then extrapolated what I said, but what I said - not your extrapolation - is exactly correct.

Now, if someone wants to call me a denier based on that position, then they are an idiot.

By jumped the shark I mean you've officially entered the realm of the CC deniers.

Climate change advocates believe that CO2 emissions are going very significantly alter global climate for thousands of years.

There are several camps of deniers.
There are absolute idiots like Christopher Monckton who think the world is cooling or is not warming at all.
There are other who say it will only go up a tiny amount so we can just turn up the AC if the climate gets hotter.
Some say we will run out of fossil fuel very soon and it will get start to cool off--in other words a temporary phenomenon.
I place you in the third camp.

Yes, the concentration of CO2 may fall over centuries but look at the historical charts of CO2 we are way out of the natural variability range(200-300 ppm over hundreds of thousands of years--with most changes correlating to the major ice ages caused by orbital shifting) versus 300-400 ppm in ~100 years). There is no basis for the idea that CO2 will wash out of the atmosphere in even a few centuries.


Please don't be too offended as this is a serious topic worthy of debate at TOD.

R2 explained his position. He is not denying anything. He stated that he accepts the science. Please stop spinning everything you read.

Please don't be too offended as this is a serious topic worthy of debate at TOD.

Please don't be offended at my conclusion that you are a $#!@ing idiot.

LOL, +10... This from someone who generally jumps all over anyone I perceive to be a climate change denialist. Currently, my patience, with people whose reading comprehension skills are below par, is at an all time low...

Read it again, FM.

"But eventually fossil fuels will run out. That would solve our CO2 issue -- it would solve a lot of problems."--R^2

Do you believe that our CO2 problem will go away when we stop burning fossil fuels when they ran out or do you believe it will be around for a really long time?

Really R^2 should thank me for catching his published 'mis-speaking'(unless it wasn't).

As for the profanity, it's pretty much what happens when ever I challenge R^2, so why complain?

Really R^2 should thank me for catching his published 'mis-speaking'(unless it wasn't).

I didn't misspeak. The problem is that what I said and what you attributed to me aren't the same. I didn't say a word about temperature. You attributed words about temperature to me in order to label me a denier. Now you go on to lie...

As for the profanity, it's pretty much what happens when ever I challenge R^2, so why complain?

Number 1, I didn't use profanity. All of the $!# were inserted by me. Second, you are lying. But that seems to come quite easily for you.

Read down the page. I said 4 things that I don't think you would dispute. I did not say what you have decided that I "really" said.

Do you believe that our CO2 problem will go away when we stop burning fossil fuels when they ran out or do you believe it will be around for a really long time?

No, I don't! I don't think Robert does either. However I'll let him clarify his own position, which he is more than able to do.

Marjorian, you did indeed misstate. He did not say immediately, soon or in a little while. He said eventually. Could be a long time... could be decades, or centuries. But eventually, as RR said, FF will run out. And, as he said, when oil runs out there will be a cry for more coal and gas. Until it runs out.

Also, RR did not say that this would end AGW right away. Just that this would end the steady addition of CO2 into the atmosphere. That's all.

Settle down... take a deep breath. Think.


And, thus, he is wrong.

He said, as quoted, " But eventually fossil fuels will run out. That would solve our CO2 issue."

Methane increases are already happening. Releases from the Arctic tundra and sea floor already exist. Aleklett does make exactly he same error: CO2 = FFs. Bzzzzzzt! Wrong! It might have meant that five years ago. Or ten. Or twenty. Not any more.

In fact, over the last 400,000 years, methane concentrations have not been above about .6 or .7 ppm, but now are around 1.85 in the Arctic, and even higher above the Siberian continental shelf.

"Shakhova notes that the Earth’s geological record indicates that atmospheric methane concentrations have varied between about .3 to .4 parts per million during cold periods to .6 to .7 parts per million during warm periods. Current average methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, the highest in 400,000 years, she said. Concentrations above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are even higher."

Wake the hell up, my dearies. If you think GHG emissions are going to stop when we stop burning FFs, you're simply not paying attention. Natural feedbacks are a fact of scientific reality right here, right now. The future you fear is the now you are living.

Rapier is wrong. Period. So is Aleklett.

The Perfect Storm Cometh? No. It is quite busy flooding the coast while you play Scrabble with semantics here on TOD.


Methane increases are already happening.

And thus you make the same mistake majorian did. The context of the question was whether humans will volunatarily limit their own CO2 emissions. My answer was "No, I think they will continue to rise until we burn through all of our fossil fuels." What the reporter wrote about "solving the CO2 issue" is actually a paraphrase of what I said, but close enough that only morons were going to try to call me a denier - 180 degrees opposite of my actual position - on the basis of that.

Now if you follow with "Is it possible that change will continue once we burn through all our fossil fuels?", then the answer is different. But you have jumped to the same incorrect conclusions majorian did by making assumptions about what I am implying - which ignores what I actually said. As someone else pointed out, I didn't even say they would immediately stop, nor was I asked this question. So I wish some of you would learn to comprehend what you read without putting your own spin on it.

In fact, I was asked at a later point about methane hydrates, and I talked about the fact that methane is a very powerful GHG and that I didn't think we could collect them without releasing a lot of methane into the atmosphere, and that burning them would of course release CO2. Your problem is to take a short quote, put your spin on it, and then make incorrect conclusions that this forms 100% of my opinion on the matter.

Rapier is wrong. Period. So is Aleklett.

I can't speak for him, because I haven't directly read his position. But I can say that what I said - not yours or Majorian's spin - is correct. It is you and your spin that is wrong by attributing positions to me that I don't hold. The problem is that you think you know more than you know.

Maybe he should have said it in Italian

Pleae don't be offended at my conclusion that you are a $#!@ing idiot.

Robert and I have had our disagreements in the past but I have have found that we agree on far more points than we disagree. And on this point we agree,... in spades!

However I would have not used those words. I would likely have simply ignored the response. But he makes me feel good nevertheless. ;-)

Ron P.

You don't start a debate by calling someone a Climate Denier. Just arguments.

Ultimately, YOU made this thread unworthy of further debate, by jumping into hyperbolic extrapolations and labels.

I agree with Robert. I've pointed out numerous times on TOD that the big problem with CO2 emissions won't be due to oil, but to the other fossil fuel sources which we are likely to turn to as the oil runs out. Thus, Peak Oil may make things worse as people will respond in panic mode.

Whether or not mankind will burn all the coal, tar sands, oil shale and natural gas is not known, but there will be tremendous pressure to do so after Peak Oil. Should this path be taken, the CO2 levels will continue to rise and thus much more Global Warming would be the expected result. Of course, there may be ways to burn all those fossil fuels without dumping the CO2 into the air, but that goal may turn out to be wishful thinking. The CO2 is thought to remain in the atmosphere for centuries, but that is another unknown, as is the possible reversal of the terrestrial CO2 sink, which could begin to release the carbon stored within the land surface as the Earth warms.

I do not think that Robert is in the denialist camp. Being a skeptic does not mean that one is denying the science.
There are many unknowns and one must not jump to absurd conclusions without a high level of certainty. What we know with great certainty is scary enough as it is, so why over react and give the denialist one more example of an extremest hot head to point to?

E. Swanson

Agree with most of what you wrote. And RR is no AGW-denier. He may be, though, under-appreciating the affects of longer term changes.

Another thing to remember is that the continued population growth in South America, Africa, and SE Asia will put tremendous pressures on the remaining tropical jungles. Even if fossil fuel use is curbed, land use changes can continue to cause an increase in CO2. And of course, for the industrial North the fuel of last resort are the boreal forests.

It is quite possible that over the next 100 to 150 years we could very radically alter the biosphere.

I think that a better statement might be that we ARE radically altering the biosphere. If we keep on going as we have been doing, within 100 to 150 years, the tropical biosphere won't be safe for mammals. When the dew point hits 95F (35C), people start to die from heat stroke if outdoors. The same would apply to other mammals, such as dogs and cats, I would think. We are making the biosphere safe for reptiles and insects...

E. Swanson

Agree with most of what you wrote. And RR is no AGW-denier. He may be, though, under-appreciating the affects of longer term changes.

No, I made no statements at all about the effects of longer term changes. What I stated was specifically relevant to CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere. Majorian turned that into his own statements about what he perceived me to be saying about climate. I did not say or imply that it would start to cool off if CO2 leveled off - but that was what he attributed to me, and therefore labeled me a denier as a result of his own failure to comprehend what he read.

Simply put, I stated 4 things:

1. As we start to get desperate, we will turn to dirtier sources of energy.
2. This will worsen the accumulation of CO2.
3. The accumulation will ultimately level off only as we run out of fossil fuels.
4. Mother Nature will reassert herself in ways that humans and many other living creatures probably won't like.

Anything beyond that is putting words in my mouth - and that is what Majorian did. His basis for labeling me a denier was entirely concocted by him.


This, "No, I made no statements at all about the effects of longer term changes. What I stated was specifically relevant to CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere" contradicts this, "3. The accumulation will ultimately level off only as we run out of fossil fuels."

You say you are not addressing longer term changes, then clearly talk of when we've used all the carbon *and* the effects have leveled off. Both are "longer term changes." Worse, you claim without caveat that CO2 will level off simply because we run out of FFs, completely ignoring that CO2 is currently entering the atmosphere as a result of warming, but in ways not directly related to the use of FFs.

"Anything beyond that is putting words in my mouth - and that is what Majorian did."

Incorrect. The words were your own. He clearly stated there are various kinds of deniers, and he is right. By the definitions he chose, you are. You don't get to define this for him. You may, of course, disagree with the definition, but that's a slightly different argument.

Frankly, I put you in the same camp as Aleklett, too. His argument is: we can't meet the worst targets of the IPCC, so screw AGW and focus on PO (because feedbacks don't exist because the IPCC hasn't published on them yet!!!).

Really, it's quite a ridiculous argument, totally devoid of logic. I see no difference here, Robert. CO2 will level off after we stop burning CO2? Tell that to the clathrates and the tundra, because they are saying you're full of methane.


Incorrect. The words were your own. He clearly stated there are various kinds of deniers, and he is right. By the definitions he chose, you are. You don't get to define this for him.

Congrats. You belong in the idiot camp with him, and if there was an ignore function I would use it on you. He provided a definition, and then said I belong there on the basis of something I didn't say. So he is free to define things any way he wants; his mistake is to say "You belong here because blah, blah, temperature, blah, blah." I didn't say a word about temperature, so he made an incorrect inference and thus said "You are a denier."

Above you criticized someone for "thinking they know more than they know." Pot/kettle. I actually described your type of thinking at the conference this week. There is a specific class of person who think they have the truth on stone tablets. If someone says something that they think is contrary to their stone tablets, they are quick to lash out - ignoring the fact that their stone tablets are fictional constructs. You don't know the future. I don't know the future. So when you say "It's actually going to be like this..." you lose sight of that. As a scientist, I talk about scenarios for the future, not absolute truth.

Really, it's quite a ridiculous argument, totally devoid of logic. I see no difference here, Robert. CO2 will level off after we stop burning CO2?

That's not what I said, and you certainly belong in the idiot camp with majorian for also stretching a question that I correctly answered into your spin of methane, "burning CO2", etc. That was not the context of the question, nor was I asked whether methane might continue to accumulate after CO2 stops rising. This was a talk about peak oil, and I was asked a question about CO2 emissions. I said "I believe CO2 emissions will continue to rise until we run out of fossil fuels." Beyond that you are into spin territory.

People ask sometimes e-mail and ask why I don't post here much any more. This is why. I am in Europe on a trip I didn't want to make - once more away from my family - trying to educate people about peak oil; trying to get them to come to grips with a serious problem - even telling them we have a serious problem with CO2 accumulations that is at risk of getting worse as we start to deplete oil - and I get a couple of clowns like you and majorian calling me a "denier." Unbelievable.

I bear with posting and commenting because you get the occasional pearl of wisdom buried in the responses.

I guarantee that everytime I present some analytical result, Majorian will attack it from some angle that takes me awhile to figure out. It usually turns out to be purely a misinterpretation or spin, but that might mean that I was somehow not clear enough (maybe).

As I recall, ccpo usually gives me a hard time if I comment on anything that relates to climate.

And then we have the ongoing problem of dealing with the neo-luddites who don't think technical analysis (or anything related to math, physics, or chemistry) can solve any of our problems, while they themselves use a computer to post comments. Go figure.

illegitimati non carborundum

Cheer up, I like your comments.

I've taken some flack here before for saying it, but I'll repeat it: human beings are not capable of destroying life on this planet, or the planet itself.

If anything, peak oil and peak fossil fuels demonstrates conclusively that Mother Nature is about to absolutely knock us upside our heads.


Life will find a way. Now go have a beer.

Sachs, let me throw a little more flack your way. Of course we cannot destroy ALL life on this planet, just most of it. We are capable of destroying every species of great ape except Homo sapiens, and we may just be capable of killing that species off also. We are capable of turning the rain forests into deserts, we are capable of pumping all fossil aquifers dry, we are capable of leaving the world a barren desert as far as life is concerned.

But there will always be some life left. There will be cockroaches left. There will be rats and vermin left, and lots and lost of bacteria left. And some type of wildlife will likely be left but I am not sure which.

But that is not the point. The point is we can, and probably will, destroy life as we know it on this planet.

Ron P.

Sorry if I lack your sang froid.

Mother Nature (or god) has posed a challenge to humanity according to the scientists who are our Nature interpreters. Get off carbon or face extinction.

The concept of extinction is not new to Nature and today the world faces a man-made mass extinction( elimination of a certain percentage of all species).

90% of all species were destroyed in the Permian ME and 75% in the Cretaceous ME. Those eco-worlds were completely destroyed.

The Permian ME may have been caused by the breakup of Pangaea world island or been caused by the dissolution of natural gas hydrates aka GW.
It marks the end of the great coal building period. CO2 levels exceeded 1000 ppm and remained there for 150 million years. Today we have ~400 ppm of CO2, within striking distance of 1000 ppm. We are adding 2 ppm of CO2 per year.

Unlike many at TOD, I think we have lots of 'difficult' oil(at least 1 trillion barrels of conventional and another trillion of unconventional oil) and plenty of coalreserves (+1 trillion tons) plus a strong demand for cement which converts limestone back to CO2. Those numbers add up to more than 4 trillion tons of CO2 additional to the 3 trillion tons of CO2 up there now.
At present rates of consumption, that amount of oil will be used up in 60 years and coal 100 years after that.
This doesn't include methane releases from permafrost, oceans, reduced snow cover, destroying peat bogs, rain forest, that are positive feedbacks to GW.

The greatest destruction of species in the Permian ME occured in the seas. The number one carbon sink are the oceans where
biological processes turn CO2 into limestone and we are quickly killing those processes.


Scientists are cautious in attributing Permian ME to
any single event as it occurred 250 million years ago.


Permian-Triassic ME is at P/TR point, 250 million years ago on chart above.

Your confidence in survival beyond the cockroaches is simply not justified.

Be afraid.

We will burn up all of our fossil fuels.

We could get lucky (from a climate standpoint) and be forced to leave some oil in the ground as capital gets scarce. That's my prediction. I don't think I'll be around long enough to test it beyond 2040, though.

Like you, I am most worried long-term about the atmospheric carbon lag and the potential positive release feedbacks on ecosystems.

This is why I have turned to the practice of agroecology. It gives me a means to actually put carbon into the soil by managing the highest quality, most productive soils on the planet. My goals are to wean farms off of fossil fuel use and sequester carbon in the soil at the same time. I also believe this will make these farms more economically stable as better soils mean better food and less fuel dependent systems mean less input cost volatility.

Grass fed beef sequesters carbon. Most ag practices add carbon, big time.
I commend you for doing this, Jason. If we are going to get around "humanity's biggest mistake", we must follow your lead, or back to becoming hunter gathers with 3 million people on the planet.

Grass fed beef sequesters carbon. Most ag practices add carbon, big time.

Maybe some ag practices add carbon where you live.

Where I live, the practices of overusing nitrogen fertilizer, ripping up and re-seeding pasture every few years, and alternating pasture with corn have led to big declines in soil organic matter. The use of herbicides is keeping it down, despite nature's efforts to build up the soil again.

Most ag practices add carbon--except for the ones we use.

I thought it was understood that "Ad Carbon" meant the atmosphere, and Co2.
I guess I should be more clear.

Yes, but do the tomatoes taste any good? It's a crying shame what has happened to most store-bought tomatoes in the last twenty years.

Via slashdot article:

"The US Department of Energy this week opened an online portal where the public can get all the technical details it can stomach about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf."




Any legal types know of the liability of the US for the Gulf blowout should it hit foreign shores, or affect foreign business?

Given the role MMS played by certifying BP to drill, that the oil is US owned, it seems a case might be made. Could President Obama's statement that he took responsibility affect this?

I don't know but the fact is that we emit carbon dioxide far out of proportion to our population. This affects the whole planet and, therefore, all foreign shores. If there is a legal case for liability for oil spills, then there should be legal liability for activities that may very well wipe out most species and possibly the vast majority of humanity, foreign and domestic.

George Bush failed to take action over eight years and had to be told by the Supreme Court to even consider carbon dioxide in order to properly implement the clean air act. Throw him and Cheney into the dock while you are at it.

An argument could be made that, by ineffectively or inadequately regulating DW drilling, the US is on the hook. BP will almost certainly not be able to financie the entire cleanup, and perhaps not the sealing of the well. Comments of late indicate a chance that the events have compromised the riser, and that this leak will be around for a long time. I certainly hope that is incorrect, but the CNN and CNBC commentators had a few geologists on whose opinion was dire.

I don't think the President took responsibility for the leak by his statements. The arguments will be the same in any case. Watch for action in the Hague as the world prosecutes BP, Transocean and the USA.


Dunno if it's sad, but it's true that practically *everything* is more dangerous then terrorism, unless you have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is discussed often on security blogs, the best of which is Bruce Schneier's at http://www.schneier.com/ (IMO, of course). Of course, as usual, there are plenty of henny-penny sites that exist to frighten people about this, because there is money in it, and if you're a government, an excuse to abrogate the constitution and grab more power.

It's a long list of things that kill more people yearly than terrorists, and we are idiots to let ourselves be terrorized by guys who want to blow their goodies off in a plane (then what was that guy gonna do with those virgins?), crash airplanes, blow up cars, and so on. At least where it's mostly happening, you're allowed to defend yourself and if you shoot one, you get a medal instead of a felony charge. I could wish that was the case here in the USA -- I could use some good moving target practice, myself.

Without terrorist help, we drown plenty of kids in 5 gal buckets (accidentally, but they are still dead), and my gosh, the rate of auto fatalities in one year is nearly that of say, the Vietnam war (only counting our guys, of course) -- for the whole multi year exercise. You can add a ton of things I forgot to the list, but individually and together all kill and injure more than all the terrorists of all time have in a single year (even including the Pope's crusades, which got the ball rolling on that one). Think alcohol just for one drug. Then the others, gangbangers, genocides (state terrorism at its most effective) and a lot of other things -- AIDS with drugs patented and expensive so third world people with it die instead of getting treated, the list just goes on forever and every single thing on it is "more dangerous than terrorism" by most definitions. Probably the most dangerous result of terrorism is the government creed of "never let a good crisis go to waste" in terms of really doing damage to the lives of the average person.

So, technically, the guy is right, though he may be full of it otherwise.
"Everything gives you cancer, there's no cure, there's no answer" -- wish I could remember the Jazz musician who wrote that one. Gotta go light up a cigarette that's more dangerous than terrorism now. I'll have a beer with that.

Climate change, not necessarily global warming is the bad guy if it's true. We have rendered ourselves into a state where nearly everything that isn't farm is a city. What happens if the rain belt moves (and who cares if it's north or south?), and now the only good place to produce food is covered in concrete, and the space where nothing will grow now has no places to live on it? Are we really willing to do the move? I doubt it -- it would be like the frog in the slowly heated water....Oak trees can't migrate as fast as we *could* either, but diseases are faster yet -- but would we move, or just try to find something to blame instead of a way to solve it? Pardon my cynicism here, but it seems that as long as we can investigate something and blame someone it almost doesn't matter what the crime was or the damage caused.

A good line in the movie Rising Sun was: "Fix the problem, not the blame -- their way is better". Words to live by.

Sustainability is life without fossil fuels. ...

daily/yearly sunlight ... no ancient sunlight

Only those fossil fuels that are economically recoverable will be mined-burned ..

the rest will be left behind .. EROEI

Just wanted to pull this bit out from an article listed up top:


Mexico fears BP spill to hit shores by year-end

Many Gulf of Mexico turtles and birds migrate back and forth between the U.S. coast and Mexico, and turtles who have swallowed oil from the slick can die a slow and agonizing death from internal organ damage, Elvira said.

The blow to turtles could set back years of conservation programs in Mexico, which has protected hatcheries up and down its coasts for the often endangered species to lay eggs.

If scientists can prove the BP oil spill causes measurable harm to Mexico's ecosystems, the country may sue BP. "We are looking for the most appropriate legal instruments to sue BP for impacting biodiversity," Elvira said.

Not too long ago, I saw a documentary on the amazing local programs Mexico has along the coast to rebuild their sea turtle populations. Basically efforts of dedicated locals creating programs to bus in school children to help protect turtle habitat and aid in turtle egg-production.

My Facebook picture was during a job in Mexico, December 2008, and I helped launch baby Olive Ridley's into the surf.. (Pacific Side) they were Yanks manning this station, but there was a strong conservation effort assisted by Mexico.

Not even sad. Just Numb.


We will not burn through all the fossil fuels. We will, however, burn through all the fossil fuels we can access, until the infrastructure fails.

During an actual collapse, like the breaking of a glass, power outage, running out of gas, or death from starvation, there are still resources available, but they are inaccessible to the existing damaged/depleted infrastructure

If each woman on Earth has no more than two children in her lifetime then the human population would eventually stop growing. If that average is less than two then the population would contract until and unless the number of children per woman increased again to equal two or more.

This, to me, seems to be the fundamental math of sustainability.

The other factors of how much (and what) we consume per person per lifetime is the other crucial part of the sustainability equation.

The idea of having three or more children to take care of oneself in one's old age is an idea, if widely adopted, that is detrimental to the sustainability of humanity and detrimental to the stewardship of Earth's life in general.

The concept of governments attempting to stimulate childbirth to continue the pyramid schemes of 'economic growth' codifies individual self-centered economics into mass delusion and long-term decline of the environment, and the human condition.

Humanity may not have the power to end life on Earth in an absolute sense, but it certainly does have the power to greatly degrade the diversity and health of the biosphere in a geologic blink of the eye.

The concept of unlimited, perpetual growth (in the material sense of increasing the number of humans and material goods)is a sham.

It seems that fundamental shortcomings of mainstream economics are the focus if on maximizing profits over the shortest period of time, and that externalities, including costs of diffuse and long term degradation, are, by definition, not priced.

Can whiter clouds slow global warming?
A grant from Bill Gates is helping researchers explore the possibility that making clouds whiter and more reflective by spraying them with a fine seawater mist could help block the sun's rays and send them back into space.

OK we block some sunlight on the way down to cool the planet. What does that do to plant life that uses sunlight to grow. Last time I tried it I found out that my corn grows better in full sun than shade. Admittedly I would love to tend, water, and harvest in the shade and be cooler but the darn stuff just doesn't grow well in shade.

OTOH we know what is heating the planet. We don't need more technology to save us, we need less usage of fossil fuel powered technology.